Further Tax Relief for Christchurch

March 29, 2011 New Zealand Taxation

Parliament buildingsThe government has approved several changes to the national tax system, in an effort to aid the wellbeing of families and businesses struck by the recent earthquake.

In a media statement jointly released by the Minister of Revenue Peter Dunne and the Minister of Finance Bill English, it was conceded that New Zealand’s tax system was not forseen to handle the repercussions of disasters to the scale of the Christchurch earthquake, and several proportional changes will be added in the face of new realities. Bill English explained, saying, “…with the end of the tax year rapidly approaching, businesses and employers in Christchurch and around New Zealand need some certainty about the tax issues arising from the Canterbury earthquakes.”

The New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) had already previously announced that it would be providing selective concessions for tax payments and filing requirements. The government has now added that the Commissioner of IRD will be bestowed with a greater range of powers to extend statutory tax dates on a case or class-of-cases basis, in the occurrence of future unforeseen events or disasters.

According to Peter Dunne, it is important to ensure that businesses and individuals should receive relief from both income tax and gift duty on donations of trading stock to Christchurch relief charities. The Ministers announced that the Cabinet has agreed to several measures which address tax issues arsing in the wake of the diasaster, including: ensuring that welfare contributions made by employers to their employees should be tax free; extending the redundancy tax credit to September 30th 2011; and, exempting some payments from income calculations for families receiving Working for Families tax credits as a direct result of employment loss due to the earthquake.

Photo by Sheep”R”Us